Gas station owner cited for covenant violation

RANCHO SANTA FE — Mark Rababy, the owner of the gas station and adjoining property at 16951 Via de Santa Fe, came before the Association to plead his case about the code violation issued to him for storing vehicles and horse trailers on his property. 

“I am a gas station,” Rababy told the board. “We fix cars. We fix horse trailers. We fix everything. They are there for repair.”

Rababy said he does not understand the concern.

“All of a sudden it’s a problem,” he said. “I feel like I’m being harassed by this group of people. The gas station has been there since the 1920s. I am upset about this.”

These issues are usually handled in a private session before the board but Rababy opted to go public with it.

Arnold Keene, field operations manger for the Association, told Rababy that it is not just the Association that is concerned about the trailers and vehicles on his property.

“We have a lot of residents asking why these trailers are there constantly,” Keene said.

Keene said Rababy has been warned many times about the clutter.

A year ago in September, the Association sent an initial notice of Covenant Violation to Rababy. In November of that year it was noted that several of the violations had been resolved, but the horse trailer subject of the original violation was still on the property. He was sent a notice of violation advising him to correct the violation by removing the horse trailer. In January of this year, Association staff saw the horse trailer was still on the property, Keene said.

“A notice of board action for non-compliance was sent to Rababy advising him of a board hearing to discuss actions on the Covenant Violation,” Keene said.

The trailer was removed prior to the hearing date and the date was cancelled, Keene said.

Still residents complain about the clutter of cars, trucks and trailers.

“To me, this is a good neighbor issue,” director Anne Feighner said.

The Rancho Santa Fe Regulatory Code states that: “No vehicles such as horse trailers … or other such trailers shall be stored when in view from the street or other residences.”

Rababy said he does not agree with the Association’s definition of the word “storage.”

Those vehicles are there for repair, he said. He said one of the vehicles there had waited seven months for a part.

Director Rochelle Putnam asked if there were some way to work together to come up some kind of screening.

“That lot has been an eyesore since I’ve been here,” said Association Director Eamon Callahan. He added that he does not feel right about dictating to Rababy about keeping vehicles there for repair on the property.

“Somehow we should work together to try to come up with a resolution,” he said.

Callahan said he would make himself available to help Rababy come up with a solution.

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